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Computer science is empowering. It gives students the opportunity to try and fail and try again until they succeed. When students are able to try and succeed, those “I did it”s quickly transform into “I can do it!”
Janice Mak, an educator from Phoenix, Arizona, empowers students in her computer science classroom by employing pair programming strategies, giving students opportunities to see computer scientists at work in the real world, allowing students to solve authentic problems, explicitly teaching and modeling perseverance along with a growth mindset, and allowing them to create by connecting to the physical world.
Throughout the semester, these strategies transform students’ mindsets and their assumptions about computer science. To demonstrate this, Mak asks her students to draw what they picture a computer scientist looks like at the beginning and the end of a semester. The results were stunning. By the end of the semester, students’ drawings had moved away from the stereotype of the male coder holed up in his basement to images of programmers, both female and male, working actively to contribute and help solve the world’s problems.
Read more about how Janice Mak empowers students to become computer scientists in this article: https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=1092&category=Computer-Science&article=